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This crow took a ferry ride. It flew off a few times but soon returned to the boat until we docked. Several sparrows were in the bushes beside a bakery with patio seating. I assume they clean up dropped crumbs.
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Dale Hodgins
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Starfish. Reflections are a problem for under water shots. I try to find shadows in otherwise well lit water. My brother in law Rick is in this one. It was his first time to the west coast of Canada. I took him and my sister Heidi on a guided tour.

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Dale Hodgins
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My sister Heidi can't say no to a cute puppy. This one made a haunting sound to announce his loneliness. His people were visible inside a restaurant. The dog in the doorway was told to wait outside this health food store. Dog treats are dispensed by the woman at the counter.


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Dale Hodgins
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We went to an aquarium on the first day of my sister's visit. A guide pointed out a male crab gripping a female in order to mate and he explained that offerings of food are involved. Heidi called me to the edge of the dock on Saltspring island when she witnessed this behaviour in the wild. Shallow tidal waters are bursting with life. Inumerable small creatures cover every surface.

The water is about 3 feet deep but clean for a tidal flat. I don't know what sort of creature is making the bubbles seen on the right. It is a bottom dweller so there must be some sort of mucus holding the bubbles from rising to the surface. With underwater shots it's common to find interesting subjects that were not noticed when the photo was taken. Corrugated metal on a dockside shed cast a vivid reflection so I had to adjust my angle. I opened the iris to near maximum and set a slow shutter speed to brighten up this low light scene.
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Dale Hodgins
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This gull grabbed a meal just after sunrise.

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Dale Hodgins
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The old seal with the bad eye is the only one that sticks around the dock during breeding season.

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Dale Hodgins
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These offer a great escape during my lunch hour. Thank you for sharing.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Rion Mather wrote:These offer a great escape during my lunch hour. Thank you for sharing.



I'm glad you enjoy them. I'm working in an area surrounded by wildlife where I see an average of 3 people a day. Deer and bird photos are taken at lunch. Most ocean shots are taken in fairly public areas along beaches and docks.

These annenomies are growing on a public dock in Victoria harbour. The small ones are attached to a sewer pipe.

The last photo shows barnacles, mussels and other life on Saltspring Island.





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Dale Hodgins
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All of this growth is a challenge for float home owners. The first shot is on the side of a pontoon. The second is of a badly neglected inboard/outboard leg. Antifouling paint and a zinc attachment can prevent some of this.

The ocean has tides and tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon. There, now I have a good excuse to post the lunar photo that doesn't otherwise fit into a wildlife thread.

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Dale Hodgins
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Check out the thread on polinators in the mason bee section. There are dozens of shots like these. Although insects are wild and they are life, it makes more sense to put them in a separate category.

The weaver bee in the second shot is gathering nest building materials.

The wasp in the last one crawled into view and may have seen his own reflection in the lens.

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Dale Hodgins
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I've been taking quite a few sunrise and sunset photos recently. Sea birds are usually active at dawn and dusk so many were included in the photos.

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Rion Mather
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Nice, Dale. I wondered where you disappeared to. Thanks for posting.
 
Dale Hodgins
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A demolition project took over my life for 5 weeks. I dismantled a house on my own by hand. I used to hire a crew for this but decided that I needed all of the money and the exercise. 35 tons recycled, tired muscles, mo money $$$

During this time I've missed some amazing photographic opportunities. An owl flew to within 3 feet of my head at 5:45 am. It abruptly turned when it saw me and was likely surprised to find me on the roof at this hour.

A small hawk regulary frequents the site and defends meals against crows and eagles. It lets out a loud shreik when crows get too close. When an eagle tries to steal lunch, the hawk often goes into one of the vacant houses or under a house close to where I'm working.

The large gravel lot produces thermals that are sometimes used by up to seven buzzards at once. Canada geese and swans visit the adjacent corn field.

Two ravens frequent the forest and stream but have evaded my lens.

The mother deer and fawn are back after a two week absence following a visit from my brother which included 8 of his yapping dogs who chased every living thing.

Sunrise and sunset photos are easy because they hold still and arive at predictable times before and after work






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Dale Hodgins
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Gulls are the easiest birds to catch since they always glide along beaches and ridges with good lift.

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Dale Hodgins
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Many bird shots come out fuzzy since there is no time to adjust the focus. When this happens they can be saved by cranking up the colour and contrast.

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Dale Hodgins
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I finished the final clean up of the job on Saturday. We had our first rain in three months on Friday night. This created conditions with poor lift since the ground stayed cool until late morning. The buzzard was working this poor lift only about two hundred feet up. On a good hot, dry day soaring buzzards and eagles find it easy to soar out of the zone where they would photograph well on a movie camera with limited zoom. Even the best of these shots is a 10 times magnification done on the computer, which reduces quality.

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Rion Mather
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I love birds of prey but it is so darn difficult to capture them on film!
 
Dale Hodgins
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This heron fishes from an isolated rock. The gull tried to share this good fishing spot but was driven off.

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Dale Hodgins
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When the tide goes out, there are millions of little creatures to eat. These birds are pursuing sand fleas and little crabs.

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Dale Hodgins
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Cormorants are great divers. It's fun to predict where they will pop up. It can b hundreds of feet frome where the dive began. Notice how low this one sits in the water. After it eats, It may spend hours lounging and preening. On a hot day like this one, cormorants can be seen with their wet wings spread toward the sun.

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Dale Hodgins
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This sparrow is in a tree at the water and air zone at a gas station. when cars get cleaned, food scraps often go to the birds.

In the last shot , he's yelling "That guy in the van is shaking out his blankets and cleaning off the dash again."

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Dale Hodgins
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The gull has to be careful while banging the clam on a rock. If it bounces away the other one will surely steal it. The behavior of gulls often reminds me of human relationships. Those who are productive are constantly harrassed by thieves who are less motivated. The thieves expend huge amounts of energy following others around while the ocean has many more clams immediately beneath their feet.



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Dale Hodgins
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The next 18 photos were all taken during a 20 minute visit to Willows beach in Victoria. The place was crawling with wild life.

Crows cooperate much more than do most birds. This pair split up while foraging but then share the spoils. Here they are sharing a clam.

Gulls are less likely to steal from a pair than from an individual. When a huge food resource such as a large washed up fish is found, crows will share with many other crows but they drive gulls off. Gulls seem to come into conflict with other gulls even when there is plenty for all.


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Dale Hodgins
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This crow dropped the clam on asphalt from 15 ft. up and then quickly grabbed it before it could be taken by gulls. After whacking it on the pavement several times, it walked to a nice patch of grass and ate it there.

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Dale Hodgins
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These crows are turning up many edibles in wood chip mulch.

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Dale Hodgins
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Canada geese are generally cooperative subjects. After feeding they preen the feathers.


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Dale Hodgins
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Crows are very smart and alert. Sand fleas and little flies are hard to catch.


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Dale Hodgins
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Salvaging poor photos. On beaches, it is common for many shots to be affected by glare. The photo of me was way off because of the exceptionally white oyster shell beach behind. By turning the colour down, it was salvaged as a black and white.

I took one of my niece from a different angle and it turned out fine. I gave her that hat which cost $2.50 at a thrift store. It had never been used. With that I believe the off topic trophy is mine to keep.

The gull was overexposed. It was saved by cranking up the colour saturation and contrast.


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Dale Hodgins
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This chipmunk sized squirrel lives in a deep moss covered forest area several miles inland from the beach. It was taken one hour before dark on the same day as all of those beach photos.


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Dale Hodgins
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I followed this crow around until it flew into a tree to join another.


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Dale Hodgins
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During this mild harassment the crow flew to several spots before it headed for the trees.

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Dale Hodgins
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I stumbled upon a mother deer with her fawn.

The mother moved out of view and the young one immediately took a look. Good thing I'm not a cougar.



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Dale Hodgins
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I found them again so she headed across the road.

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Dale Hodgins
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The mother deer kept a close eye as the fawn took a look at me.

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Dale Hodgins
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I continued my pursuit. Deer are so much faster that I don't represent a real threat, so they only moved a short distance each time.


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Dale Hodgins
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After being followed for ten minutes, they headed into a forest and were gone.

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Dale Hodgins
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In early fall, the crows from all around Victoria gather each night for what I call aerobatics contests and freestyle showing off. The venue is a high hill that provides excellent soaring opportunities. There are oak trees with ripe acorns everywhere which are both eaten and played with during games.

They engage in games of tag, copy cat manoeuvres, acorn tossing and mid air retrieval, keep away with sticks etc.

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Dale Hodgins
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This one was quite vocal while watching individual diving tricks.

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Dale Hodgins
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The most spectacular trick I witnessed was a sort of cork screw manoeuvre where the crow dives toward the ground while spinning wildly, pulling out at around 10 ft. off the ground. This one flew level until just past the tree and then dove abruptly. This received the loudest response of the evening.

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A berm makes a great wind break. And Iwe all like to break wind once in a while. Like this tiny ad:
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